Pawlenty Supports Reinstating Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell
Former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, who is pursuing a bid for the Republican Presidential nomination, told a talk radio host in early January that if elected President, he would reinstate Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. He said, “I have been a public supporter of maintaining Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, and I would support reinstating it as well.”
Gay Groups Criticize Justice Department Brief
The US Justice Department has filed a brief defending the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). The Obama administration claims it must defend the federal law in court, even though as a presidential candidate, Barack Obama supported a full repeal of DOMA during the campaign. Equality Matters chief Richard Socarides stated in an e-mail, “There are some improvements in tone in the brief, but the bottom line is, the government continues to oppose full equality for its gay citizens.”
Log Cabin Republicans Back in Court To Overturn Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell
Although President Barack Obama signed legislation beginning the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, Log Cabin Republicans was back in court in January, moving forward with its lawsuit against the policy. The group urged the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals to proceed with its review of the case and Judge Virginia Phillips’s ruling last year that the ban on openly gay service members was unconstitutional. The plaintiff wrote in its filing, “Although a bill to repeal the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell statute has been passed, and signed by the President, this legislative ‘repeal’ is not yet effective.” The Obama administration has moved to delay further court action on the issue.
Maryland Set to Expand Gay Rights, Same-Sex Marriage
According to CNN, Maryland is set to become the sixth state to recognize same-sex marriage, as supporters argue they have the votes to pass a bill legalizing it in the upcoming legislative session. Not only are Democrats optimistic, but also Democratic Governor Martin O’Malley has stated publicly he would sign such a bill into law.
US State Department Makes Passport Forms Gender-Neutral
The Washington Post reports that the State Department has decided to make US passport applications gender-neutral by removing references to “mother” and “father” in favor of “parent one” and “parent two.” The Human Rights Campaign applauded the announcement, calling it a “positive step forward for all American families.” The antigay Family Research Council, however, complained in a statement, “This is clearly designed to advance the causes of same-sex ‘marriage’ and homosexual parenting without statutory authority, and violates the spirit if not the letter of the Defense of Marriage Act.”
Barcelona Gay And Lesbian Monument Plans Outlined
Agence France-Presse reports that Barcelona is about to unveil a monument to GLBT people persecuted throughout history. According to the city, an inscription on the monument will read: “In memory of the gays, lesbians and transsexual people who have suffered persecution and repression throughout history.” Homosexuality was legalized in Spain in 1970 after the death of dictator Francisco Franco.
Uganda Court Bans Gay Outing
Uganda’s high court has ruled that the country’s media outlets cannot out people as gay. Being gay is still illegal in Uganda, but the court ruled against a newspaper that launched a campaign in October to out a series of alleged gay men. The judge in the case said, “Clearly, the call to hang gays in dozens tends to tremendously threaten their right to human dignity.”